(19)
(11)EP 1 847 758 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
06.05.2020 Bulletin 2020/19

(21)Application number: 07100857.7

(22)Date of filing:  19.01.2007
(51)Int. Cl.: 
F17C 13/00  (2006.01)

(54)

Liquefied natural gas storage tank having improved insulation structure and method of manufacturing the same

Flüssigerdgasspeichertank mit verbesserter Isolationsstruktur und Herstellungsverfahren dafür

Réservoir de stockage de gaz naturel liquéfié comportant une structure d'isolation améliorée, et son procédé de fabrication


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC NL PL PT RO SE SI SK TR

(30)Priority: 20.04.2006 KR 20060035743

(43)Date of publication of application:
24.10.2007 Bulletin 2007/43

(73)Proprietor: Korea Gas Corporation
Kyonggi-do 463-754 (KR)

(72)Inventors:
  • Yang, Young Myung
    426-788, Ansan-si, Gyeonggi-do (KR)
  • Yoon, Ihn Soo
    Yeonsu-gu 406-725, Incheon (KR)
  • Yang, Young Chul
    435-050, Gunpo-si, Gyeonggi-do (KR)
  • Kim, Young Kyun
    423-030, Gwangmyeong-si, Gyeonggi-do (KR)

(74)Representative: Cabinet Beau de Loménie 
158, rue de l'Université
75340 Paris Cedex 07
75340 Paris Cedex 07 (FR)


(56)References cited: : 
EP-A2- 1 669 662
DE-A1- 19 934 620
FR-A1- 2 780 941
US-A- 3 392 866
US-A- 5 501 359
WO-A1-2007/064212
FR-A1- 2 361 601
JP-A- 2006 017 213
US-A- 3 754 675
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description

    BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION


    1. Field of the Invention



    [0001] The present invention relates to a liquefied natural gas (LNG) storage tank having an improved insulation structure and installed in constructions such as ships, ground tanks, vehicles and the like, and a method of manufacturing the same. More particularly, the present invention relates to an LNG storage tank having an improved insulation structure and a method of manufacturing the same, wherein a fabricating process can be shortened by simplifying a structure of tank for storing liquefied nature gas corresponding to cryogenic liquid and liquid-tight characteristics can also be firmly maintained

    2. Description of the Related Art



    [0002] In general, liquefied natural gas (LNG) is obtained by causing natural gas, one of fossil fuels, to be liquefied. An LNG storage tank is classified into a ground storage tank, which is installed on the ground or buried in the ground according to installation positions, and a mobile storage tank, which is mounted on transportation means such as vehicles and ships.

    [0003] The aforementioned LNG is stored in a cryogenic state and is explosive when it is exposed to shock. Thus, the LNG storage tank should be constructed such that shock resistance and liquid-tight characteristics thereof can be firmly maintained.

    [0004] Japanese Patent Laid-Open Publication No. 2002-181288 discloses a liquefied natural gas storage tank including an outer tank made of concrete, insulation covering an inner surface of the outer tank, and a dual-layer sealing wall installed to an inner surface of the insulation to seal the liquefied natural gas.

    [0005] This conventional dual-layer sealing wall has an inner layer membrane in direct contact into a liquefied natural gas and an outer layer membrane in direct contact with the exterior of the inner layer membrane, to thereby improve the safety.

    [0006] However, since the inner and outer layer membranes are brought into close contact with each other, there are problems in that friction may occur between the inner and outer layer membranes in a case where there is a motion of the liquefied natural gas in the storage tank and that the breakage of one membrane may directly result in the breakage of the other membrane. Therefore, such a conventional dual-layer sealing wall cannot be employed in the storage tank installed in a ship in which the liquefied natural gas can be moved.

    [0007] The LNG storage tank installed on a mobile automobile or ship is slightly different from the ground storage tank with little motion in view of their configurations in that it should provide a means for overcoming mechanical stress due to the motion thereof. However, the LNG storage tank, which is installed on a ship and provided with a means for overcoming the mechanical stress, can also be used as a ground storage tank. Therefore, the construction of an LNG storage tank installed on a ship will be described herein by way of example.

    [0008] Fig. 1 is a perspective view showing a portion of a liquefied natural gas storage tank according to the prior art, which was registered as Korean Patent No. 499710 in the name of the present applicant.

    [0009] In the conventional LNG storage tank 10, second insulation walls 22 and 42 and first insulation walls 24 and 44 are sequentially installed on a floor surface of a ship's hull, second sealing walls 23 and 43 are installed between the second insulation wall 22 and the first insulation wall 24 and between the second insulation wall 42 and the first insulation wall 44, respectively, to seal spaces defined between the first and second insulation walls. Further, a first sealing wall 50 is installed on the first insulation walls 24 and 44.

    [0010] The LNG storage tank 10 constructed as described above comprises corner structures 20 installed at inner corners of the tank, anchor structures 30 installed on a floor surface of the tank at regular intervals, and planar structures 40 each being interposed and slidably installed between the corner structures 20 or between the anchor structures 30. At this time, each of the corner structures 20, the anchor structures 30 and the planar structures 40 is beforehand manufactured as a unit module and then assembled in the storage tank 10. Further, the first sealing wall 50 is installed on the structure to seal the insulation wall in a liquid-tight manner, so that a space capable of storing liquefied natural gas (LNG) therein can be defined within an inner space of the tank.

    [0011] Referring to Fig. 1, the LNG storage tank 10 will be described hereinafter.

    [0012] The corner structures 20, the anchor structures 30 and the planar structures 40 comprise the first insulation walls 24, 34 and 44, the second insulation walls 22, 32 and 42 and the second sealing wall 23 and 43, respectively, and are defined as the insulation wall structures 20, 30 and 40.

    [0013] In each of the insulation structures 20, 30 and 40, contact surfaces between the second sealing wall and insulation walls are bonded to each other by an adhesive such that the walls can be integrally formed with one another. In general, each of the second insulation walls 22 and 42 is composed of a polyurethane foam (an insulating material) and a board attached to the lower side of the polyurethane foam. Further, each of the first insulation walls 24 and 44 is composed of a polyurethane foam and a board attached to the upper side of the polyurethane foam by an adhesive. In addition, the first sealing wall is installed on the first insulation walls 24, 34 and 44 and welded to the anchor structure 30.

    [0014] Further, a flange 42a larger than the second insulation wall 42 is formed at a lower end of the second insulation wall 42 of the planar structure 40. The flange 42a is inserted in a groove formed at a lower end of the anchor structure 30 such that it can be slightly slid therein.

    [0015] In the illustrated example, each of the anchor structures 30 comprises an anchor support rod 36, a fixing member 37 located at the lower side, a second anchor insulation wall 32 and a first anchor insulation wall 34. Further, the second sealing walls 23 and 43 lie between the first and second anchor insulation walls 34 and 32. One end of the anchor support rod 36 is connected to the first sealing wall 50 while the other end is connected to an inner wall 12 of the ship's hull through the fixing member 37.

    [0016] Furthermore, the first sealing wall 50 is welded to the upper end of the anchor support rod 36 such that the first sealing wall 50 can be coupled with the anchor structure 30.

    [0017] In addition, the anchor structure 30 is located at a connecting point of the adjacent planar structures 40 to connect the planar structures to each other, and the planar structures 40 are fixed to the inner wall 12 or a bulkhead 14 of the hull constituting the storage tank 10. Further, the fixing member 37 of the anchor structure 30 is installed around the anchor support rod 36.

    [0018] However, since the conventional LNG storage tank comprises the first and second insulation walls and the first and second sealing walls, the configuration of the insulation wall is complicated and the structure for connection with the second sealing wall is also complicated. Furthermore, a working process of assembling the insulation wall is not easy. Moreover, the configuration of the connecting portion of the anchor structure or the second sealing wall is complicated and it is difficult to install the anchor structure or the second sealing wall, and thus, there may be a problem in that sealing reliability in the second sealing wall against liquefied natural gas is decreased.

    [0019] EP1669662 discloses modular walls for use in building liquid gas tank, US3392866 discloses an insulation for fluid-tight enclosures, US3754675 discloses a low-temperature liquefied-gas storage reservoir and WO2007/064212 discloses a panel tank for storage of fluids.

    SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION



    [0020] In order to solve the aforementioned problems, an object of the present invention is to provide a liquefied natural gas storage tank having an improved insulation structure, according to claim 1, and a method of manufacturing the same, according to claim 11, wherein sealing reliability can be increased by simplifying structures of insulation and sealing walls and an assembling mechanism between the walls and improving the assembling work and a time taken to construct the tank can be reduced by simplifying the manufacturing structure and process.

    [0021] According to an aspect of the present invention for achieving the object, there is provided a liquefied natural gas storage tank having an improved insulation structure, wherein the liquefied natural gas storage tank comprises: an insulation wall installed on an inner wall of the tank; and sealing walls installed on an upper surface of the insulation wall and brought into direct contact with liquefied natural gas; wherein the insulation wall comprises corner structures installed at corner portions of the tank, anchor structures installed on the inner wall of the tank, and planar structures installed at planar portions of the tank, wherein the sealing walls comprise a first sealing wall brought into direct contact with the liquefied natural gas and a second sealing wall installed below the first sealing wall, wherein the first sealing wall and the second sealing wall are spaced apart from each other, wherein the first sealing wall comprises a first corrugated portion and the second sealing wall comprises a second corrugated portion such that the first corrugated portion and the second corrugated portion are opposing each other, and wherein the sealing walls enclose a supporting board for allowing a distance between the first sealing wall and the second sealing wall to be kept constant, and characterized in that the supporting board is provided over at least a portion of the sealing walls except the corrugated portions.

    [0022] Here, the sealing walls have a multiple-layer structure in which at least two layers are formed. Further, the insulation wall may have a single-layer structure. Preferably, the insulation wall is composed of a plurality of modules which in turn are coupled with one another to form an insulation wall layer. Further, each of the modules may be formed with insulation and a board attached to an upper side and/or a lower side of the insulation. Preferably, each of the modules is formed with a corner module installed at a corner portion of the tank and a planar module installed at a planar portion of the tank. Further, the corner module may be bonded to the tank by means of an adhesive. Preferably, the planar module can be slid between the sealing walls and the inner wall of the tank.

    [0023] Each of the anchor structures may comprise an anchor support rod mechanically supported onto the inner wall of the storage tank and an anchor insulation wall surrounding the anchor support rod. Alternatively, each of the anchor structures may comprise an anchor support rod secured to the inner wall of the storage tank through welding and an anchor insulation wall surrounding the anchor support rod. Preferably, the anchor support rod is formed with an upper cap at an upper side thereof and the sealing walls is welded to the upper cap. Further, the sealing walls have a dual-layer structure and enclose a supporting board for allowing a distance between the sealing walls to be kept constant. Preferably, the supporting board is formed of a material selected from the group consisting of plywood, polyurethane foam (or reinforced polyurethane foam), and a composite material in which plywood is bonded to at least one of top and bottom surfaces of polyurethane foam (or reinforced polyurethane foam). More preferably, the upper cap includes a step portion corresponding to a height of the two-layer sealing walls and the corresponding sealing wall is coupled with the step portion through welding.

    [0024] According to another aspect of the present invention, there is provided a method of manufacturing a liquefied natural gas storage tank having an improved insulation structure, the method comprising the steps of: installing an insulation wall onto an inner wall of the tank; and installing sealing walls onto an upper surface of the insulation wall, wherein the insulation wall comprises corner structures installed at corner portions of the tank, anchor structures installed on the inner wall of the tank, and planar structures installed at planar portions of the tank, wherein the sealing walls are supported by a plurality of anchor structures installed onto the inner wall of the storage tank, wherein the sealing walls comprise a first sealing wall brought into direct contact with the liquefied natural gas and a second sealing wall installed below the first sealing wall, wherein the first sealing wall and the second sealing wall are spaced apart from each other, wherein the first sealing wall comprises a first corrugated portion and the second sealing wall comprises a second corrugated portion such that the first corrugated portion and the second corrugated portion are opposing each other, and wherein the sealing walls enclose a supporting board for allowing a distance between the first sealing wall and the second sealing wall to be kept constant, and characterized in that the supporting board is provided over at least a portion of the sealing walls except the corrugated portions.

    [0025] In the method for manufacturing a storage tank according to the present invention, the features in the aforementioned storage tank can be included.

    [0026] As described above, the liquefied natural gas storage tank having an improved insulation structure according to the present invention is configured to comprise an insulation wall and a multiple-layer sealing wall. Therefore, the complexity of the conventional structure in which the second sealing wall is installed between the two insulation walls is eliminated and the problem of leakage between the second sealing walls or at a connecting portion of the second sealing wall in the anchor structure can also be solved. Accordingly, the configuration of the storage tank can be simplified, the assembling work for the tank can also be easily made, and the sealing reliability can be increased.

    [0027] Further, there are several examples in which the triplex was used at a connecting portion of the conventional second sealing wall, and there is a problem in that liquefied natural gas may leaked from the connecting portion. Since the second sealing wall is not placed between the two insulation walls in the present invention and it is not necessary to employ the triplex, however, the sealing reliability can be further enhanced.

    BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS



    [0028] The above and other objects, features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following description of preferred embodiments given in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:

    Fig. 1 is a perspective view showing a portion of a liquefied natural gas storage tank according to the prior art;

    Fig. 2 is a sectional view of an exemplary ship in which the liquefied natural gas storage tank is installed not being part of the invention, but as an example for better understanding the invention.

    Fig. 3 is an enlarged view of an "A" portion in Fig. 2;

    Fig. 4 is a plan view showing in detail a portion of the liquefied natural gas storage tank according to the present invention;

    Fig. 5 is a sectional view taken along line I-I of Fig. 4; and

    Fig. 6 is a sectional view taken along line II-II of Fig. 4.


    DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION



    [0029] Hereinafter, the configuration of the present invention will be described in detail with reference to the accompanying drawings.

    [0030] The present invention is directed to a liquefied natural gas storage tank in which liquefied natural gas (LNG) is stored in a high pressure and extremely low temperature state. To this end, the LNG storage tank is constructed such that shock resistance and liquid-tight characteristics are firmly maintained.

    [0031] The LNG storage tank mounted to an automobile or ship, in which cargo is movable, is different from the ground storage tank with little motion in that suitable countermeasures should be prepared against mechanical stress due to the cargo motion in the storage tank. However, the LNG storage tank mounted to a ship to which the countermeasures against the mechanical stress are provided can also be applied to the ground storage tank. Thus, the configuration of an LNG storage tank mounted to a ship will be described herein by way of example.

    [0032] Fig. 2 is a sectional view of an exemplary ship in which an LNG storage tank is installed. Here, for easy understanding, the module is more enlarged and shown in Fig. 2 than in the actual liquefied natural gas storage tank. It should be understood that a larger number of storage tanks are partitioned and connected with one another in the actual ship.

    [0033] As shown in Fig. 2, the LNG storage tank according to the present invention may be installed in a ship 1. The ship 1 comprises a hull having a dual-layer structure of an outer wall 16 defining an external appearance and an inner wall 12 formed within the outer wall 16. In the ship 1, the inner and outer walls 12 and 16 are integrally formed with each other through connecting ribs 13. Alternatively, the ship 1 may comprise a hull having a single structure in which the inner wall 12 is not installed may be constituted. Meanwhile, the upper side of the ship can be formed into a single deck and an external appearance of the upper side of the ship can vary according to the dimension or storage capacity of the ship 1.

    [0034] A space defined by the inner wall 12 can be divided by one or more bulkheads 14. A cofferdam well known in the conventional ship provided with the LNG storage tank may be defined by the bulkhead 14.

    [0035] Furthermore, each inner space can be formed into a storage tank 10 for receiving and storing cryogenic liquid such as liquefied natural gas. A preferred embodiment of the present invention is illustrated in such a manner that the storage tank 10 is installed at the second space from the left in the ship 1.

    [0036] Here, sealing walls 150 are to seal liquefied natural gas stored in the storage tank 10 in a liquid-tight manner. The sealing walls 150 can be brought into contact with liquefied natural gas and formed with a corrugated portion on the sealing wall to cope with change in temperature according to the loading and unloading of cryogenic liquefied natural gas, as well known in the art. The sealing walls 150 are connected to the inner wall 12 or the bulkhead 14 of the ship 1 by means of a plurality of anchor structures 130. Accordingly, the sealing walls 150 cannot be freely moved with respect to the ship's hull.

    [0037] Further, insulation wall structures 120, 130 and 140 serving as a module for forming a layer of the insulation wall are placed between the sealing walls 150 and the inner wall 12 of the hull constituting the tank 10. In the present invention, the anchor structure 130 will be illustrated as one of the insulation wall modules. The insulation wall structures 120, 130 and 140 are placed between the sealing walls 150 and the inner wall 12 or bulkhead 14 of the hull to define an insulation wall for insulating the storage tank 10 from the outside.

    [0038] In addition, the insulation wall structures 120, 130 and 140 include the corner structures 120 placed at the corner, the anchor structures 130 installed on the inner wall of the hull at regular intervals and the planar structures 140 installed between the corner structures 120 or between the anchor structures 130, each of which is formed into a module.

    [0039] As described above, in the present invention, the sealing walls 150 are mainly supported by the anchor structures 130, and the planar structures 140 support only weight of the liquefied natural gas applied to the sealing walls and are not in a direct coupling relationship with the anchor structures.

    [0040] Fig. 3 is an enlarged view of an "A" portion of Fig. 2. Referring to this figure, the insulation structures 130 and 140 installed on the inner wall 12 of the storage tank 10 include the planar structures 140 installed on planar sections of the inner wall of the tank and the anchor structures 130 each installed between the adjacent planar structures 140.

    [0041] Each of the anchor structures 130 is installed on the inner wall 12 or bulkhead 14 of the storage tank 10 and fixed by an anchor support rod 136 penetrating through the anchor structure 130. Further, the planar structure 140 is inserted between the anchor structures 130 or between the corner structures 120 (in Fig. 2), and thus, the planar structure is also installed on the inner wall 12 of the tank 10 by means of a plurality of connecting means (not shown).

    [0042] Further, the sealing walls 150 brought into direct contact with liquefied natural gas is installed on the insulation structures 130 and 140. The sealing walls 150 have a dual-layer structure comprising a first sealing wall 151 which is brought into direct contact with the liquefied natural gas and a second sealing wall 155 which is installed below the first sealing wall 151. The first sealing wall 151 and the second sealing wall 155 are disposed such that they are spaced from each other by a predetermined height.

    [0043] In addition, the sealing walls 150 are formed with a plurality of corrugated portions P (convex portions in the drawing) to prevent the sealing walls from being damaged when it is contracted and expanded. The corrugated portions P are contracted or expanded by the temperature change at the time of loading and unloading the liquefied natural gas to prevent the damage of the sealing walls 150 caused by thermal deformation applied to the sealing wall. Further, the sealing walls 150 are fixed to an end of the anchor support rod 136 of the anchor structure 130 through a welding process.

    [0044] Although it has been illustrated in Fig. 3 that the sealing walls 150 have a dual-layer structure comprising the first and second sealing walls 151 and 155, it is possible to form the sealing walls with the multiple-layer structure including three or more layers.

    [0045] Fig. 4 is a plan view showing in detail a portion of the liquefied natural gas storage tank according to the present invention, Fig. 5 is a sectional view taken along line I-I of Fig. 4, and Fig. 6 is a sectional view taken along line II-II of Fig. 4.

    [0046] As shown in Figs. 4 to 6, the liquefied natural gas storage tank 10 according to the present invention is configured such that the insulation wall structures 120, 130 and 140 (in Fig. 2) constitute an insulation wall for insulating the storage tank 10 from the outside. In the present invention, the corner structures 120 and the anchor structures 130 are fixedly installed on a floor surface of the tank, and the planar structures 140 are installed between the corner structures 120 or between anchor structures 130 such that the planar structures can be slightly moved.

    [0047] To this end, each of the planar structures 140 is provided between the corner structures 120 or between the anchor structures 130 (not shown) through a plurality of connecting means 146. The connecting means 146 is constituted by coupling a plywood plate (a planar lower plate 141), which is a lower board of the planar structure, with a stud bolt 138 welded to the inner wall 12 of the hull, by means of a nut 139. A certain gap (1∼4 mm) can be formed between the planar structure 140 and the corner structure 120 or between the planar structure and the anchor structure 130. This gap so formed may be a space in which the planar structure 140 can be moved when the hull is deformed, so that it can accommodate the amount of deformation of the hull. Accordingly, the planar structure 140 can be slid slightly with respect to the floor surface in a horizontal direction.

    [0048] The planar structure 140 comprises a planar lower plate 141 brought into face-to-face contact with the inner wall 12, a planar insulation 142 and a planar upper plate 143 formed on the planar insulation.

    [0049] Here, the planar lower and upper plates 141 and 143 are made of a plywood material, while the planar insulation 142 is made of polyurethane foam or reinforced polyurethane foam.

    [0050] In addition, each of the anchor structures 130 comprises a lower anchor plate 131, anchor insulation 132 formed on the lower anchor plate 131 and made of polyurethane foam or reinforced polyurethane foam, and an upper anchor plate 133 coupled onto the upper side of the anchor insulation.

    [0051] At this time, the lower anchor plate 131 is mechanically secured to the inner wall 12. To this end, the plurality of stud pins 138 are installed on the inner wall 12 at regular intervals and an anchor base plate 137 with penetrating portions corresponding to the stud pins is coupled with the stud pins 138. The lower anchor plate 131 is mechanically secured to the inner wall 12 by means of the nuts 139 coupled with the stud pins 138.

    [0052] Further, the anchor lower plate 131 is installed on the anchor base plate 137, a predetermined recessed space is formed at a central portion of the anchor lower plate 131, and a rod support cap 134 is installed in the recessed space. The rod support cap 134 may be provided with a nut 134a or formed integrally with a nut structure. The aforementioned anchor support rod 136 is coupled vertically with the rod support cap 134. To this end, the rod support cap 134 has a cap section provided with the nut 134a and a flange section extending radially from a lower end of the cap section. In addition, the flange section is interposed between the corresponding stud pins 138 and nuts 139 such that the flange section can be further secured. A lower structure of the anchor support rod 136 is the same as those disclosed in Korean Patent Nos. 499711 and 499713.

    [0053] In addition, the anchor insulation 132 made of polyurethane foam or reinforced polyurethane foam is inserted around the anchor support rod 136 and then placed on the lower anchor plate 131. The upper anchor plate 133 is fixedly attached to an upper surface of the anchor insulation 132 through which the anchor support rod 136 is inserted. And, an upper cap 135 is placed at a central portion of the upper anchor plate 133 and then coupled to an upper end of the anchor support rod 136.

    [0054] Furthermore, the sealing walls 150 brought into contact with the liquefied natural gas is installed on the insulation wall structures 130 and 140. Further, the sealing walls 150 are fixedly welded to one side of the upper cap 135. The sealing walls 150 also have a plurality of corrugated portions P (convex portions in the figures) which are formed on the wall to prevent the sealing wall from being damaged when the sealing walls are contracted or expanded by the temperature change or motion of the insulation wall structures.

    [0055] Here, the sealing walls 150 may have a multiple-layer structure in which the plurality of sealing walls are stacked one above another. Preferably, the sealing walls have a dual-layer structure comprising the first and second sealing walls 151 and 155. That is, the sealing walls 150 comprise the second sealing wall 155 placed on the insulation wall structures 130 and 140 and the first sealing wall 151 installed on the second sealing wall 155, and the first and second sealing walls 151 and 155 are fixedly welded to the upper cap 135.

    [0056] To this end, a step portion 135a corresponding to the height of the sealing walls 150 may be formed at the upper cap 135 and the first and second sealing walls 151 and 155 are fixedly welded to the step portion 135a. That is, the second sealing wall 155 is fixedly welded to a lower end of the step portion 135a and the first sealing wall 151 is fixedly welded to an upper end of the step portion 135a.

    [0057] As described above, since a distance between the first and second sealing walls 151 and 155 is kept constant due to the step portion 135a, mechanical stress caused by the interference between the two sealing walls is not generated.

    [0058] As described above, the insulation walls 120, 130 and 140 are formed through the combination of the corner structures 120, the anchor structures 130 and the planar structures 140 which will become insulation walls. In addition, the fabrication method, shape and material of the insulation wall have been known in U. S. Patent Nos. 4,747,513, 5,501,359, 5,586,513 and 6,035,795, PCT International Publication WO 89/09909, Japanese Patent Laid-Open Publication Nos. 2000-038190 and 2001-122386. The present invention can employ an insulation wall and timber to be attached which are disclosed in the aforementioned patents.

    [0059] Further, although it has been described in the embodiment of the present invention that the anchor structure 130 is mechanically fixed to the inner wall 12 of the hull 1, the anchor structure may be fixed to the inner wall 12 by welding the anchor support rod 136 directly to the inner wall 12. In addition, a lower structure of the anchor structure 130 of the present invention is disclosed in detail in Korean Patent Nos. 499711 and 499713 registered in the name of the present applicant.

    [0060] In the meantime, the sealing walls 150 can be slightly expanded and contracted according to the temperature change. In such a case, the first and second sealing walls 151 and 155 may be damaged by their mutual contact, and thus, it is preferable to provide the structure in which the walls are not brought into contact with each other. To this end, in the present invention, a supporting board 160 is installed between the first and second sealing walls 151 and 155 such that a spaced distance between the two walls can be kept constant.

    [0061] The supporting board 160 is provided over all the regions of the sealing walls 150 except the corrugated portions, but may be provided over a portion of the regions of the sealing walls.

    [0062] The supporting board 160 may be formed of a material selected from the group consisting of plywood, polyurethane foam (or reinforced polyurethane foam), and a composite material in which plywood is bonded to at least one of top and bottom surfaces of polyurethane foam (or reinforced polyurethane foam).

    [0063] As described above, since the first and second sealing walls 151 and 155 are spaced apart from each other, the temperature of the second sealing wall 155 can be kept higher than the temperature of the first sealing wall 151 in direct contact with the cryogenic liquefied natural gas. Therefore, since the durability of the second sealing wall 155 is enhanced, the life of the second sealing wall 155 can be shortened longer than that of the first sealing wall 151.

    [0064] Further, even though the hull and thus the storage tank are deformed due to waves, no friction occurs between the first and second sealing walls. Further, even though damage occurs on any one of the sealing walls due to impact applied thereto, it is possible to prevent the damage from being propagating directly to the other sealing wall.

    [0065] Furthermore, reference numeral "170" indicates a leveling material, which is placed between the inner wall 12 of the hull 1 and the bottom surface of the insulation wall structure at the time of installing the insulation wall structure such that the insulation wall structure can be kept at a constant height with respect to the inner wall 12.

    [0066] Although it has been described in the specific embodiment of the present invention that the sealing walls are made of corrugated stainless steel for use in a GTT Mark-III type, invar steel for use in GTT No. 96 is also applicable.

    [0067] Further, the sealing walls made of invar steel can be closely installed in a multiple-layer structure, and thus, the same effect as when the sealing member is made of stainless steel can be obtained.

    [0068] Moreover, it is apparent that the present invention can be applied to an LNG storage tank installed on the ground as well as an LNG storage tank installed within a ship's hull.

    [0069] As described above, the liquefied natural gas storage tank having an improved insulation structure according to the present invention is configured to comprise an insulation wall and sealing walls of a multiple-layer structure, i.e. a close dual-layer sealing structure. Therefore, the complexity of the conventional structure in which the second sealing wall is installed between the two insulation walls is eliminated and the problem of leakage between the second sealing walls or at a connecting portion of the second sealing wall in the anchor structure can also be solved. Accordingly, the configuration of the storage tank can be simplified, the assembling work for the tank can also be easily made, and the sealing reliability can be increased. Further, there is an advantage in that an installation structure of the storage tank installed in a ship for transporting liquefied natural gas in a cryogenic liquid state can be further simplified to thereby reduce an assembling process.

    [0070] Although the present invention has been described in connection with the embodiment of the present invention illustrated in the accompanying drawings, the present invention is not limited thereto and it is apparent to those skilled in the art that various modifications and changes can be made thereto without departing from the scope of the appended claims.


    Claims

    1. A liquefied natural gas storage tank (10) having an improved insulation structure, the liquefied natural gas storage tank comprising:

    an insulation wall (120, 130, 140) installed on an inner wall (12) of the tank (10); and

    sealing walls (150) installed on an upper surface of the insulation wall (120, 130, 140) and brought into direct contact with liquefied natural gas;

    wherein the insulation wall comprises corner structures (120) installed at corner portions of the tank (10), anchor structures (130) installed on the inner wall (12) of the tank (10), and planar structures (140) installed at planar portions of the tank (10),

    wherein the sealing walls (150) comprise a first sealing wall (151) brought into direct contact with the liquefied natural gas and a second sealing wall (155) installed below the first sealing wall (151),

    wherein the first sealing wall (151) and the second sealing wall (155) are spaced apart from each other,

    wherein the first sealing wall (151) comprises a first corrugated portion and the second sealing wall (155) comprises a second corrugated portion such that the first corrugated portion and the second corrugated portion are opposing each other, and

    wherein the sealing walls (150) enclose a supporting board (160) for allowing a distance between the first sealing wall (151) and the second sealing wall (155) to be kept constant, and characterized in that the supporting board (160) is provided over at least a portion of the sealing walls (150) except the corrugated portions.


     
    2. The liquefied natural gas storage tank (10) as claimed in claim 1, characterized in that each of the structures (120, 130, 140) is formed with insulation and a board attached to an upper side and/or a lower side of the insulation.
     
    3. The liquefied natural gas storage tank (10) as claimed in claim 1, characterized in that the corner structures (120) are bonded to the tank by means of an adhesive.
     
    4. The liquefied natural gas storage tank (10) as claimed in claim 1, characterized in that the planar structures (140) can be slid between the sealing walls (150) and the inner wall of the tank.
     
    5. The liquefied natural gas storage tank (10) as claimed in claim 4, characterized in that the supporting board (160) is made of a material selected from the group consisting of plywood, polyurethane foam or reinforced polyurethane foam, and a composite material in which plywood is bonded to at least one of top and bottom surfaces of polyurethane foam or reinforced polyurethane foam.
     
    6. The liquefied natural gas storage tank (10) as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 5, characterized in that each of the anchor structures (130) comprises an anchor support rod (136) secured to the inner wall of the storage tank through welding and an anchor insulation wall (132) surrounding the anchor support rod.
     
    7. The liquefied natural gas storage tank (10) as claimed in claim 6, characterized in that the anchor support rod (136) is formed with an upper cap (135) at an upper side thereof and the sealing walls (150) are welded to the upper cap.
     
    8. The liquefied natural gas storage tank (10) as claimed in claim 7, characterized in that the upper cap (135) includes a first surface and a second surface formed by means of a step portion (135a) such that a height between the first surface and the second surface corresponds to a height between the first sealing wall (151) and the second sealing wall (155) of the sealing walls (150), and
    the first sealing wall (151) of the sealing walls is coupled with the first surface of the upper cap (135) and the second sealing wall (155) of the sealing wall is coupled with the second surface of the upper cap (135).
     
    9. The liquefied natural gas storage tank (10) as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 5, characterized in that each of the anchor structures (130) comprises an anchor support rod (136) mechanically supported onto the inner wall of the storage tank and an anchor insulation wall (132) surrounding the anchor support rod (136).
     
    10. The liquefied natural gas storage tank (10) as claimed in claim 9, characterized in that the anchor support rod (136) is formed with an upper cap (135) at an upper side thereof and the sealing walls (150) are welded to the upper cap.
     
    11. A method of manufacturing a liquefied natural gas storage tank (10) having an improved insulation structure, the method comprising the steps of:

    installing an insulation wall (120, 130, 140) onto an inner wall (12) of the tank (10); and

    installing sealing walls (150) onto an upper surface of the insulation wall (120, 130, 140),

    wherein the insulation wall comprises corner structures (120) installed at corner portions of the tank (10), anchor structures (130) installed on the inner wall (12) of the tank (10), and planar structures (140) installed at planar portions of the tank (10),

    wherein the sealing walls (150) are supported by a plurality of anchor structures (130) installed onto the inner wall (12) of the storage tank (10),

    wherein the sealing walls (150) comprise a first sealing wall (151) brought into direct contact with the liquefied natural gas and a second sealing wall (155) installed below the first sealing wall (151),

    wherein the first sealing wall (151) and the second sealing wall (155) are spaced apart from each other,

    wherein the first sealing wall (151) comprises a first corrugated portion and the second sealing wall (155) comprises a second corrugated portion such that the first corrugated portion and the second corrugated portion are opposing each other, and

    wherein the sealing walls (150) enclose a supporting board (160) for allowing a distance between the first sealing wall (151) and the second sealing wall (155) to be kept constant, and characterized in that the supporting board (160) is provided over at least a portion of the sealing walls (150) except the corrugated portions.


     


    Ansprüche

    1. Flüssigerdgas-Lagertank (10), der eine verbesserte Isolationsstruktur aufweist, wobei der Flüssigerdgas-Lagertank umfasst:

    eine Isolationswand (120, 130, 140), die auf einer inneren Wand (12) des Tanks (10) installiert ist, und

    Dichtungswände (150), die auf einer oberen Oberfläche der Isolationswand (120, 130, 140) installiert sind und in direkten Kontakt mit Flüssigerdgas gebracht werden,

    wobei die Isolationswand Eckstrukturen (120), die an Eckabschnitten des Tanks (10) installiert sind, Verankerungsstrukturen (130), die auf der inneren Wand (12) des Tanks (10) installiert sind, und ebene Strukturen (140) umfasst, die an ebenen Abschnitten des Tanks (10) installiert sind,

    wobei die Dichtungswände (150) eine erste Dichtungswand (151), die in direkten Kontakt mit dem Flüssigerdgas gebracht wird, und eine zweite Dichtungswand (155) umfassen, die unter der ersten Dichtungswand (151) installiert ist,

    wobei die erste Dichtungswand (151) und die zweite Dichtungswand (155) voneinander beabstandet sind,

    wobei die erste Dichtungswand (151) einen ersten geriffelten Abschnitt umfasst und die zweite Dichtungswand (155) einen zweiten geriffelten Abschnitt umfasst, sodass der erste geriffelte Abschnitt und der zweite geriffelte Abschnitt einander gegenüberliegen, und

    wobei die Dichtungswände (150) eine Trägerplatte (160) umschließen, um zu ermöglichen, dass ein Abstand zwischen der ersten Dichtungswand (151) und der zweiten Dichtungswand (155) konstant gehalten wird, und dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass

    die Trägerplatte (160) über mindestens einem Abschnitt der Dichtungswände (150) außer den geriffelten Abschnitten vorgesehen ist.


     
    2. Flüssigerdgas-Lagertank (10) nach Anspruch 1, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass jede der Strukturen (120, 130, 140) mit einer Isolierung ausgebildet ist und eine Platte an einer oberen Seite und/oder einer unteren Seite der Isolierung angebracht ist.
     
    3. Flüssigerdgas-Lagertank (10) nach Anspruch 1, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass die Eckstrukturen (120) mittels eines Klebstoffs an den Tank gebunden sind.
     
    4. Flüssigerdgas-Lagertank (10) nach Anspruch 1, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass die ebenen Strukturen (140) zwischen den Dichtungswänden (150) und der inneren Wand des Tanks verschoben werden können.
     
    5. Flüssigerdgas-Lagertank (10) nach Anspruch 4, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass die Trägerplatte (160) aus einem aus der aus Sperrholz, Polyurethanschaum oder verstärktem Polyurethanschaum, und einem Verbundmaterial bestehenden Gruppe ausgewählten Material hergestellt ist, bei dem Sperrholz an mindestens eine von einer oberen und einer unteren Oberfläche aus Polyurethanschaum oder verstärktem Polyurethanschaum gebunden ist.
     
    6. Flüssigerdgas-Lagertank (10) nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 5, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass jede der Verankerungsstrukturen (130) eine Verankerungsträgerstange (136), die an der inneren Wand des Lagertanks durch Schweißen befestigt ist, und eine Verankerungsisolationswand (132) umfasst, welche die Verankerungsträgerstange umgibt.
     
    7. Flüssigerdgas-Lagertank (10) nach Anspruch 6, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass die Verankerungsträgerstange (136) mit einer oberen Kappe (135) an einer oberen Seite davon ausgebildet ist und die Dichtungswände (150) an die obere Kappe geschweißt sind.
     
    8. Flüssigerdgas-Lagertank (10) nach Anspruch 7, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass die obere Kappe (135) eine erste Oberfläche und eine zweite Oberfläche beinhaltet, die mittels eines Stufenabschnitts (135a) ausgebildet sind, sodass eine Höhe zwischen der ersten Oberfläche und der zweiten Oberfläche einer Höhe zwischen der ersten Dichtungswand (151) und der zweiten Dichtungswand (155) der Dichtungswände (150) entspricht, und
    die erste Dichtungswand (151) der Dichtungswände mit der ersten Oberfläche der oberen Kappe (135) gekoppelt ist und die zweite Dichtungswand (155) der Dichtungswände mit der zweiten Oberfläche der oberen Kappe (135) gekoppelt ist.
     
    9. Flüssigerdgas-Lagertank (10) nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 5, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass jede der Verankerungsstrukturen (130) eine Verankerungsträgerstange (136), die mechanisch auf der inneren Wand des Lagertanks getragen wird, und eine Verankerungsisolationswand (132) umfasst, welche die Verankerungsträgerstange (136) umgibt.
     
    10. Flüssigerdgas-Lagertank (10) nach Anspruch 9, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass die Verankerungsträgerstange (136) mit einer oberen Kappe (135) an einer oberen Seite davon ausgebildet ist und die Dichtungswände (150) an die obere Kappe geschweißt sind.
     
    11. Verfahren zum Herstellen eines Flüssigerdgas-Lagertanks (10), der eine verbesserte Isolationsstruktur aufweist, wobei das Verfahren die Schritte umfasst des:

    Installierens einer Isolationswand (120, 130, 140) auf einer inneren Wand (12) des Tanks (10) und

    Installierens von Dichtungswänden (150) auf einer oberen Oberfläche der Isolationswand (120, 130, 140),

    wobei die Isolationswand Eckstrukturen (120), die an Eckabschnitten des Tanks (10) installiert sind, Verankerungsstrukturen (130), die auf der inneren Wand (12) des Tanks (10) installiert sind, und ebene Strukturen (140) umfasst, die an ebenen Abschnitten des Tanks (10) installiert sind,

    wobei die Dichtungswände (150) durch mehrere Verankerungsstrukturen (130), die auf der inneren Wand (12) des Lagertanks (10) installiert sind, getragen werden,

    wobei die Dichtungswände (150) eine erste Dichtungswand (151), die in direkten Kontakt mit dem Flüssigerdgas gebracht wird, und eine zweite Dichtungswand (155) umfassen, die unter der ersten Dichtungswand (151) installiert ist,

    wobei die erste Dichtungswand (151) und die zweite Dichtungswand (155) voneinander beabstandet sind,

    wobei die erste Dichtungswand (151) einen ersten geriffelten Abschnitt umfasst und die zweite Dichtungswand (155) einen zweiten geriffelten Abschnitt umfasst, sodass der erste geriffelte Abschnitt und der zweite geriffelte Abschnitt einander gegenüberliegen, und

    wobei die Dichtungswände (150) eine Trägerplatte (160) umschließen, um zu ermöglichen, dass ein Abstand zwischen der ersten Dichtungswand (151) und der zweiten Dichtungswand (155) konstant gehalten wird, und dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass

    die Trägerplatte (160) über mindestens einem Abschnitt der Dichtungswände (150) außer den geriffelten Abschnitten vorgesehen ist.


     


    Revendications

    1. Réservoir de stockage de gaz naturel liquéfié (10) ayant une structure d'isolation améliorée, le réservoir de stockage de gaz naturel liquéfié comprenant :

    une paroi d'isolation (120, 130, 140) installée sur une paroi interne (12) du réservoir (10) ; et

    des parois d'étanchéité (150) installées sur une surface supérieure de la paroi d'isolation (120, 130, 140) et amenés en contact direct avec le gaz naturel liquéfié ;

    dans lequel la paroi d'isolation comprend des structures de coin (120) installées au niveau des parties de coin du réservoir (10), des structure d'ancrage (130) installées sur la paroi interne (12) du réservoir (10), et des structures planaires (140) installées au niveau des parties planaires du réservoir (10),

    dans lequel les parois d'étanchéité (150) comprennent une première paroi d'étanchéité (151) amenée en contact direct avec le gaz naturel liquéfié et une seconde paroi d'étanchéité (155) installée au-dessous de la première paroi d'étanchéité (151),

    dans lequel la première paroi d'étanchéité (151) et la seconde paroi d'étanchéité (155) sont espacées l'une de l'autre,

    dans lequel la première paroi d'étanchéité (151) comprend une première partie ondulée et la seconde paroi d'étanchéité (155) comprend une seconde partie ondulée de sorte que la première partie ondulée et la seconde partie ondulée sont opposées l'une par rapport à l'autre, et

    dans lequel les parois d'étanchéité (150) enferment une plaque de support (160) pour permettre de maintenir une distance constante entre la première paroi d'étanchéité (151) et la seconde paroi d'étanchéité (155), et caractérisé en ce que :
    la plaque de support (160) est prévue sur au moins une partie des parois d'étanchéité (150), excepté les parties ondulées.


     
    2. Réservoir de stockage de gaz naturel liquéfié (10) selon la revendication 1, caractérisé en ce que chacune des structures (120, 130, 140) est formée avec une isolation et une plaque fixée à un côté supérieur et/ou un côté inférieur de l'isolation.
     
    3. Réservoir de stockage de gaz naturel liquéfié (10) selon la revendication 1, caractérisé en ce que les structures de coin (120) sont reliées au réservoir au moyen d'un adhésif.
     
    4. Réservoir de stockage de gaz naturel liquéfié (10) selon la revendication 1, caractérisé en ce que les structures planaires (140) peuvent être coulissées entre les parois d'étanchéité (150) et la paroi interne du réservoir.
     
    5. Réservoir de stockage de gaz naturel liquéfié (10) selon la revendication 4, caractérisé en ce que la plaque de support (160) est réalisée avec un matériau sélectionné dans le groupe comprenant le contreplaqué, la mousse de polyuréthane ou la mousse de polyuréthane renforcée, et un matériau composite dans lequel le contreplaqué est relié à au moins l'une des surfaces supérieure et inférieure de la mousse de polyuréthane ou de la mousse de polyuréthane renforcée.
     
    6. Réservoir de stockage de gaz naturel liquéfié (10) selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 5, caractérisé en ce que chacune des structure d'ancrage (130) comprend une tige de support d'ancrage (136) fixée sur la paroi interne du réservoir de stockage par le biais du soudage et une paroi d'isolation d'ancrage (132) entourant la tige de support d'ancrage.
     
    7. Réservoir de stockage de gaz naturel liquéfié (10) selon la revendication 6, caractérisé en ce que la tige de support d'ancrage (136) est formée avec un capuchon supérieur (135) au niveau de son côté supérieur et les parois d'étanchéité (150) sont soudées sur le capuchon supérieur.
     
    8. Réservoir de stockage de gaz naturel liquéfié (10) selon la revendication 7, caractérisé en ce que le capuchon supérieur (135) comprend une première surface et une seconde surface formées au moyen d'une partie de gradin (135a) de sorte qu'une hauteur entre la première surface et la seconde surface correspond à une hauteur entre la première paroi d'étanchéité (151) et la seconde paroi d'étanchéité (155) des parois d'étanchéité (150), et
    la première paroi d'étanchéité (151) des parois d'étanchéité est couplée avec la première surface du capuchon supérieur (135) et la seconde paroi d'étanchéité (155) de la paroi d'étanchéité est couplée avec la seconde surface du capuchon supérieur (135).
     
    9. Réservoir de stockage de gaz naturel liquéfié (10) selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 5, caractérisé en ce que chacune des surfaces d'ancrage (130) comprend une tige de support d'ancrage (136) mécaniquement supportée sur la paroi interne du réservoir de stockage et une paroi d'isolation d'ancrage (132) entourant la tige de support d'ancrage (136).
     
    10. Réservoir de stockage de gaz naturel liquéfié (10) selon la revendication 9, caractérisé en ce que la tige de support d'ancrage (136) est formée avec un capuchon supérieur (135) au niveau de son côté supérieur et les parois d'étanchéité (150) sont soudées au capuchon supérieur.
     
    11. Procédé pour fabriquer un réservoir de stockage de gaz naturel liquéfié (10) ayant une structure d'isolation améliorée, le procédé comprenant les étapes suivantes :

    installer une paroi d'isolation (120, 130, 140) sur une paroi interne (12) du réservoir (10) ; et

    installer des parois d'étanchéité (150) sur la surface supérieure de la paroi d'isolation (120, 130, 140),

    dans lequel la paroi d'isolation comprend des structures de coin (120) installées au niveau des parties de coin du réservoir (10), des structures d'ancrage (130) installées sur la paroi interne (12) du réservoir (10), et des structures planaires (140) installées au niveau des parties planaires du réservoir (10),

    dans lequel les parois d'étanchéité (150) sont supportées par une pluralité de structures d'ancrage (130) installées sur la paroi interne (12) du réservoir de stockage (10),

    dans lequel les parois d'étanchéité (150) comprennent une première paroi d'étanchéité (151) amenée en contact direct avec le gaz naturel liquéfié et une seconde paroi d'étanchéité (155) installée au-dessous de la première paroi d'étanchéité (151),

    dans lequel la première paroi d'étanchéité (151) et la seconde paroi d'étanchéité (155) sont espacées l'une de l'autre,

    dans lequel la première paroi d'étanchéité (151) comprend une première partie ondulée et la seconde paroi d'étanchéité (155) comprend une seconde partie ondulée de sorte que la première partie ondulée et la seconde partie ondulée sont opposées l'une par rapport à l'autre, et

    dans lequel les parois d'étanchéité (150) enferment une plaque de support (160) pour permettre de maintenir une distance constante entre la première paroi d'étanchéité (151) et la seconde paroi d'étanchéité (155) et caractérisé en ce que :
    la plaque de support (160) est prévue sur au moins une partie des parois d'étanchéité (150), excepté les parties ondulées.


     




    Drawing















    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



    This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

    Patent documents cited in the description